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Anwar Haque, 50, was convicted in May of masterminding the scheme that netted him and 14 others more than $6.8 million by ringing up fictitious purchases on credit card accounts that were never paid. State Supreme Court Justice Roberta Dunlop on July 21 sentenced Haque, the sole provider for his seven children, who range in age from 1 1/2 years to 17 years, his wife and his father, to a prison term of 21 1/2 years to 64 years."The defendant was a key player in a ring of thieves that stole over $6.8 million from credit card companies and laundered $1.2 million of the illicit proceeds to conceal their criminality," Brown said in a press release. "The conviction and long prison sentence imposed sends a clear message that if you commit a white-collar crime in Queens County, you will inevitably be discovered, vigorously prosecuted and severely punished."Haque's sentencing had been delayed by three weeks to give his lawyer time to review probation records and to allow time for people to appear who wished to speak on Haque's behalf. Haque, a Bangladeshi immigrant who has lived in the United States for more than two decades, and his accomplices sent most of the proceeds of the scam they ran through his Amasia USA/Dollar Connection store at 75-15 37th Ave., to relatives in Bangladesh and Pakistan, law enforcement sources said earlier.At the earlier sentencing hearing in Kew Gardens, Haque's brother, a doctor who is finishing his residency in Brooklyn, said he did not dispute the man's guilt but asked for leniency given the family's difficult economic situation. Haque lived on Van Cleef Street in Corona with his entire family.Between 1999 and 2002, Haque and his accomplices bilked nine major credit card companies, including Bank One, Chase, American Express, Citibank, MBNA, Bank of America, Fleet and Wells Fargo, out of more than $6.8 million. Fourteen others have been convicted in connection with the scheme are now serving sentences of up to four years, Brown said.Reach reporter James DeWeese by e-mail at email@example.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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